Thomas Ellis Sr., age 77, died Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at Crystal Falls, Iron County, in the Upper Peninsula.
Tom Ellis Sr. was born March 28, 1935, at his family home in Detroit, the son of John Benjamin and Ellen Elizabeth (McLaughlin) Ellis. Tom lived his entire life in Michigan. He attended grade school in Howard City and in Lansing where he graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1953. Tom received a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University.
He married his wife of 18 years, Bertice "Bertie" Welch, on Sept. 8, 1962. During the fall of 1963, Tom and his new family moved to northwestern Lower Michigan, living in proximity to Boyne City between 1964 and 1988. He lived briefly in Beulah before settling in Houghton Lake.
Tom was a pioneer in the retail ski sales industry, working for Don Thomas and eventually working 24 years as a retail manager at T.W. Ellis Ski Shop for Boyne USA Resorts. In 2001, Tom was honored for his 50 years of service and dedication to the ski industry. He retired five years later from the Don Thomas Ski Shoppe at their Otsego Ski Club branch in Gaylord.
His deep affection for hunting and fishing began during his youth and this pursuit and his employment in the ski industry, gained him a legion of friends. His acts of generosity and kindness are cherished by many individuals. His sense of humor and knack for recounting amusing events will be missed.
Tom passed away as he would have wished, at a hunting camp.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and his four older brothers, Jim in 1974, Ed in 2001, John in 1987, and Bob in 1998. He is survived by his former wife, Bertie, of Haslett, and their four children, Tom (Deborah) of Grosse Pointe, Mike of Livonia, Jim (Bridget) of Val Verde, Calif., and Christine (David) Haggerty of DeWitt; five grandchildren, Michael, Michelle, Morgan, Sean and Leo; a sister, Mary Ellen Jeffreys, of Haslett; and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral liturgy will be 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at the Palmer Bush & Jensen Family Funeral Homes, Holt-Delhi Chapel, 5035 W. Holt Road, in Holt, Mich., with Rev. John Byers officiating. Visitation will be 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions can be made to these wildlife conservations organizations: Ducks Unlimited and Trout Unlimited.
Condolences can be made at www.palmerbush.com.